New number two Colin Cooper will preach the family ethic after taking the Valley Parade helm alongside Peter Jackson.

The former England defender met the players for the first time yesterday as he prepares for his dug-out debut with Jackson at Morecambe.

Cooper, a legend at his hometown club Middlesbrough, has immediately noticed similarities with his early days on Teesside.

The 44-year-old said: “I see the infrastructure and the people who work here and it does remind me about when I was a young boy with Boro.

“There was a really strong feeling of family at that time and that’s something I know the gaffer is trying to build here. Being captain before, he has a bond with the club and wants to create that family ethic.

“Football has changed a lot but you can still go an awful long way with that. If you get a group of players who really care about the club and treat it as a family then that can make a real difference.”

Jackson has not worked with Cooper before and their paths had only crossed on the field but the interim boss believes they have quickly hit it off.

Jackson said: “It’s important I brought in the right man who I could trust and in the four or five days we’ve been together you can see he’s as keen and enthusiastic as me.

“He’s got a tremendous CV and wants to be here. It’s up to us now to put a good partnership together.”

Cooper is relishing his return to the game, ten months after being shown the door at the Riverside by Gordon Strachan.

He added: “This is an exciting opportunity and I’m really looking forward to working with the gaffer.

“Enthusiasm is something I want to see and I like to think I’m that type of person myself. I can be a little loud and brash when you need to be and I’m a lively personality.

“You want players to be enjoying themselves because then they perform better.

“Confidence will be low when you’re in the position that the club is but if you get the team playing like they did the other night then that will change.

“That was a real shot in the arm. It gives you something to work on when you see that kind of effort and application.”

Cooper admitted his initial reaction to Tom Adeyemi’s late winner was that the official had flagged for offside.

“I wasn’t sure if it went in but it was a fantastic driving run from young Tom and a super strike. It’s telling the others to ‘follow my lead’.”